Stepping to the stage is: Tracy
It’s quiz time...come on, no sneaking, peeking, or googling; just 5 quick questions to see how much you really know about a teen’s sex life.
1. Does your daughter like bright colored lipstick? If so, could she be into Rainbow Parties?
2. If you grabbed your son’s (or daughter) cell phone right now, would you find nude or inappropriate pictures?
3. What does CD9, I%I, F/IB, or Q2C, stand for in text talk?
4. Is your teen sexually active? If so, how many sex partners do you think he or she will have by age 18?
5. If your teen was tested for HIV, would he or she share the results with you?
Odd questions, I know, but you would be amazed what our kids are up to these days. As the parent of an 18-year-old, it was very difficult for me to read the statistics on teen sexuality and drug and alcohol use. But as startling as the facts are, I didn’t do like many people and say it isn’t my child. I asked the questions and listened for the answers; not the ones she gave but the ones she may have been trying to conceal.
My new novel, “The Red Bear Society,” is a candid look into the lives of a group of teenagers attending a high school that is nationally recognized for its academic excellence. On the surface these kids are just your average American teens, but remove the athletic uniforms, lay down the pom poms, remove the tiaras, place the books back on the shelf, and you’ll learn the little secrets that their parents will be shocked to uncover.
As I was promoting “The Red Bear Society,” I was asked numerous times what made me write this story. My initial response was: “Why not?” But the truth is I want to write stories that matter. And although the plot deals with serious issues, they are scenarios that people are living everyday. It will be a reality for many if we don't wake up and start a dialog with our kids.
I’ve also been asked how I wrote a story people would want to read. That’s easy; I write about real life. Things I see and hear. Things that are happening right in front of me. How many of us know a teen girl with two or three kids and she’s not even 18? What about the boy(s) who got her pregnant and are already on to the next one? Kids today are receiving so many messages and many are confused about their sexuality. Then we have girls with low self-esteem and boys ready to take advantage of their weaknesses. Now throw in naivety, stupidity, drugs, alcohol, and an “I-just-don’t-give-a-damn” attitude, and you have the makings of a true page-turner. The twist…bringing to the forefront the ramifications of these actions that those of us on the outside looking in rarely get to see or hear about.
What makes “The Red Bear Society” unique is that despite all they experience at the fictitious Johnson White High School, like most kids, they are resilient and able to rise above their adversities and come together to support one another.
Peer pressure can be a good thing when used constructively. Kids learn so much from one another. However, as parents we should be providing the lesson plans and guidance. If you have a teen or know a teen between the ages of 13 and 19, I urge you to pick up a copy of “The Red Bear Society” not only for yourself but the teens in your life. Knowledge is key! “The Red Bear Society” is available at Amazon.com and wherever books are sold. Order from my website, www.TracyLDarity.com, and get an autographed copy and a free mini-tote is included while supplies last.
So how did you do on the quiz?
1. A Rainbow Party consists of a group of girls wearing bright colored lipstick. The girls perform oral sex on a boy (or boys). The hodgepodge of colors from the lipstick is supposed to resemble a rainbow.
2. Sexting is a serious problem. Kids as young as 11 and adults well into their 40s and older are taking inappropriate pictures with their cell phones sending them to other people. Pictures can then be forwarded to others and even land on sex/porn sites.
3. CD9 = Parents around, I%I = Intercourse and Inebriation, F/IB = In the front or in the back, Q2C = Quick to cum.
4. 25% of teens report having at least 4 sex partners by the time they reach 12th grade.
5. Teens are more likely to confide in a close friend before they would a parent or adult. A teen that is not comfortable talking to their parent(s) is more likely to try and resolve a problem alone. Suicide is often the answer when a teen feels he or she has nowhere or no one to go to for help.
Tracy L. Darity is a resident of St. Petersburg, Florida. She is the author of the “He Loves Me He Loves Me Not!” “Love…Like Snow in Florida on a Hot Summer Day,” and “The Red Bear Society.”